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A demonstrater faces police in riot gear near the G20 site on June 25, 2010 in Toronto.



The largest protest march yet of summit weekend is expected to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Toronto under cloudy skies and the threat of rain. Friday's Toronto protests and marches had some tense moments with police donning riot gear, but they were, for the most part, peaceful affairs that went through the night

The planned route for Saturday's march forms a square along major streets, leading from and back to Queen's Park. Police will be watching closely to see if any marchers divert from the route and head south to the security zone fence around the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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Police powers and civil liberties

What happens when protesters get to the fence is anyone's guess, but police have quietly been given new powers under an old 1939 law that allow them to search and ask for ID from anyone within five metres of the fence. If a civilian refuses, the police are empowered to make an arrest.

The tweak to the regulation, which was made by the provincial cabinet without any public notice or announcement, has raised the ire of civil libertarians, who are scrambling to set up emergency legal help for a deluge of G20 protesters expected to be arrested over the weekend The Globe's Marcus Gee says the new rule and the way it was enacted "creates the regrettable impression that authorities are resorting to secretive, draconian measures to control the protesters" The Globe's editorial board accused the Ontario government of being heavy-handed, oppressive and sneaky in this editorial

Maternal health vs. global economy

The Toronto march begins at about the same time the G8 summit in Huntsville winds down.

Canada mustered $5-billion in pledges from the world's largest economies to tackle maternal and child health, with the host country offering up $1.1-billion in new funds over five years, far more on a per-capita basis than its partners. Some aid groups applauded Prime Minister Stephen Harper for getting the issue on the agenda, but they stressed the financial commitment falls far short of need A Globe editorial says the announcement will make a real impact and is big enough to save many lives

The Globe's John Ibbitson says the maternal health initiative succeeded because the G8 leaders share a common world view. He notes that much of Friday's announcement had been telegraphed well in advance of yesterday's summit. However, the proposal for a global tax on bank transactions and the global financial recovery, which will be central to the G20 deliberations, will be a "messier, though far more important affair," he writes

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Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told The Globe's Doug Saunders that spiralling debt poses a much greater threat to the global economy than a return to recession. He wants immediate budget cuts rather than continued stimulus spending, or even the more modest phased-out approach advocated for by Mr. Harper

Pity the spouses

In other news, spouses of the G20 leaders were cheated out of two of the summit's most-hyped sights Friday: the Muskoka landscape and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama. However, they did get to sign a canoe and learn how to bead baby moccasins inside the Royal York Hotel

Where carrots require security clearance

The Globe's Siri Agrell takes you into the kitchen of the Royal York, where the staff are engaged in madcap culinary diplomacy. The hotel's 1,365 rooms are filled with international delegates, all of whom seem to be eating on different time zones

Art: Forget the G7

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William Huffman, a 39-year-old independent curator and the associate director of the Toronto Arts Council, is the mastermind behind the 100-piece collection of fine art adorning the halls of the G8 and G20 meeting sites, where leaders have gathered for the weekend. But he took the job on one condition: no Group of Seven. In the end, the federal government's Summit Management Office gave him a virtual carte blanche to choose what he liked

A roundup of our summit coverage yesterday

Complete coverage on our main G8/G20 site here:

Blog - G8/G20 Local View:

Blog - G8/G20 Global View:

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